This is the first time I've expressed the Fire Avery sentiment. At least on this blog site. But last night's game with Miami captured the essence of why he's not a very good coach. "Not very good" in the sense of making in-game adjustment. He's a nice guy. Gets along with Deron apparently and is all too willing to toe the company line. But Hay Carumba! His inability to adjust and be creative when it matters most is pitiful. Here's what I saw (painfully) last night. My recollection at least.
Nets are up 96 - 90 with roughly a minute plus left. Maybe 2 minutes. Miami makes a substitution bringing in another big (I think Haslem). The Nets had been playing small with Hump at center and Green as PF. Ian Eagle even muses aloud the same thing I'm thinking (and neither of us is an NBA coach). "Will Avery respond by going big?" I'm thinking he'd better adjust. What happens? Avery does nothing. Miami has the ball, marching down the court, misses a shot, but grabs the offensive rebound over an undersized and outmatched Gerald Green. LeBron hits the bucket and I think gets a free throw. 96 - 93.
Nets still have a chance to pull off the victory. Oh, never mind. LeBron GAINES decides the put the team on his back and fire up a brick. Lebron marches down the court and hits another bucket. At this point I'm thinking. Hey that Lebron James guy is pretty good. As if the last 17 straight Miami points wasn't a hint. How about double teaming him once he get to mid court? Or how about fronting him so he can't get the in bounds pass? Or how about going zone? Or how about putting DeShawn in the game to annoy him? What does Avery do? Nothing. LeBron James marches time and time again down the court with little resistance using the EXACT SAME pick and drive scheme at the foul line.
Miami now has a 101-98 lead. Avery brings in Deshawn to inbound the ball. Mind you, Deshawn has been sitting most of the quarter. The play is blown, Miami gets the ball. Nets go on to lose.
I'm adding my name to the "Fire Avery" bandwagon. The most important task in coaching is managing the game during the 48 minutes of play. Avery seems more intent on yelling "rookie" at Marshon and arguing over the non-call of fouls than putting serious thought in adjusting on the fly. With Avery at the helm this team will never realize its full potential. Last night was emblematic of his coaching all year.
Yes, Fire Avery!